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Marvel’s Avengers guide: Avengers’ Initiative War Zone mission types

Find out what they are and how long they take

Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix via Polygon
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

In Marvel’s Avengers, there are numerous mission types for you to play. Although the game’s campaign consists mostly of linear missions with the occasional side quest, it really opens up with Avengers’ Initiative, Marvel’s Avengers’ multiplayer mode.

Avengers’ Initiative can be confusing at first because of its variety of mission type names. Each mission in Avengers’ Initiative is a War Zone, but some War Zones take a few minutes, while others can take nearly an hour.

In this Marvel’s Avengers guide, we’ll explain War Zones in Avengers Initiative.

Avengers’ Initiative War Zones, mission types, and descriptions

You can find the type of War Zone under its title. For example, the mission below, “To Tame a Titan,” says “Villain Sector” right under its name.

The mission type appears at the top, right under the title
Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix via Polygon

Here’s an alphabetical list that breaks down of each War Zone type in Marvel’s Avengers, including how long they take to complete.

  • AIM Secret Lab (??? minutes) — According to a Square Enix press release, these are weekly raids “only accessible after reaching the game’s highest power levels,” and they “culminate in a massive boss fight influenced by how well players’ teams performed throughout the mission.” We’ll update this guide when AIM Secret Labs are available.
  • Drop Zone (5 minutes) — Drop Zone missions are short, usually only containing a single room or objective.
  • Faction (15-30 minutes) — Faction missions are like story missions inside of Avengers’ Initiative. They’re reminiscent of Iconic missions, but they focus on SHIELD instead of a specific hero.
  • HARM Challenge/Training Module (varied timing) — The various HARM missions take place on the SHIELD Helicarrier and act as either training for an individual hero or wave-based challenges against a variety of enemies.
  • Hives (20-30 minutes) — Hives are combat challenges that take your hero through five random floors, fighting new enemy types and completing new objectives as you go.
  • Iconic (15-30 minutes) — Iconic missions tell a specific story for one of your Avengers, like Hulk or Thor. These missions have short cutscenes and varied objectives. You get some unique hero loot for finishing them the first time. You don’t have to actually play as the mission’s hero to progress the quest.
  • Mega Hives (20-30 minutes) — Mega Hives are like normal Hives, but you’ll use your entire hero roster. When one of your Avengers dies, you’ll switch to a different one.
  • Threat Sector (20 minutes) — Threat Sectors are the basic missions of Avengers’ Initiative. You’ll usually start above ground and work your way into a secret base. These are your generic, repeatable loot farms.
  • Vault (20 minutes) — You can only unlock SHIELD Vaults by finding SHIELD Caches out in the world. When you find a SHIELD Cache, you can launch this special Vault mission, which drops you into an area and has you break into one of SHIELD’s old Vaults. You’ll need to capture some zones in a specific order and take down baddies while you do it.
  • Villain Sector (30-45 minutes) — Villain Sectors are the closest thing to dungeons currently in Marvel’s Avengers. Here, you’ll face an iconic baddie like Abomination or battle a giant AIM vehicle. These are longer, more difficult missions.